Hardly a day goes by when someone does not criticize Netanyahu for not having a diplomatic plan. And yet, when one dissects the arguments, one can find no actual concrete plan within the critic’s writing. I have pointed this out with respect to people as honorable as Michael Oren and as dishonorable as Tsipi Livni. The critics span the spectrum – from extreme left to to moderate right. None of them, to the last person, have any plan to do things better.
The most recent example of this is Ynetnews.com’s headline piece called “66-year-old state seeks real foreign policy.”
This article, written by Piki Ish-Shalom contains the usual criticisms of “the State”, read: Netanyahu.
The article is from start to finish a lot of philosophical mumbo-jumbo. And it has quotes like this:
“beneficial knowledge should also form the basis of negotiations with the Palestinians, creating a dialogue based in honesty not hypocrisy, willingness not aggression; dialogue that strives for reconciliation and peace while securing the international legitimacy of the State of Israel for generations to come.”
In what ways have negotiations in the past been based on hypocrisy and aggression? Haven’t all prime ministers tried to strive for peace and reconciliation? Writers like Ish-Shalom write as though we had not gone through the Peace/Oslo movements of the 90s – which blew up in our faces. When it comes to statements like the above, which ignore what Israel has gone through over the last 20 years, I am reminded of President Obama’s quote, “the 70s called and they want their foreign policy back.”
Ish-Shalom’s article, frankly, sounds like it was written while on some sort of LSD trip. It says everything and says nothing. It talks about grand visions while being blind.
The Middle East is rapidly changing. The world is rapidly changing. Israel is trying to adopt to the blowing winds – forging closer relations with former enemies who now share common enemies; reaching out to countries in the East like China and Japan; strengthening bonds with supportive democracies like Australia and Canada; and casting aside “with friends like that who needs enemies” countries like Sweden.
Israel presents itself as a light onto the world, a democracy for all its people, and a country trying to improve human life through innovation. That it has an intractable enemy on its borders is not a reflection of Israel – it is a reflection of the enemy. Israel has generally dealt with the situation the best way it could – trying to make peace, but not committing suicide when peace was clearly impossible.
That it takes a Canadian blogger (me) to point out the obvious – that no critic ever presents a workable plan for solving the conflict – is a testament to the fact that some Israelis, despite being awakened by the years of the Oslo War, still haven’t woken up to the fact that every approach to peace has been tried – and everything has failed.